Facebook settles privacy lawsuit brought by Little Rock parties | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Facebook settles privacy lawsuit brought by Little Rock parties

Posted By on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 12:06 PM

Jan Cottingham at Arkansas Business reports settlement of a class action lawsuit against Facebook — with a Little Rock lead plaintiff and Little Rock law firm representing plaintiffs — for invading privacy by reading private messages to get information to target advertising.

Matt Campbell, a Little Rock lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, was the named plaintiff along with Michael Hurley. Carney Bates & Pulliam of Little Rock was one of the law firms on the lawsuit

Facebook has ended the practices in the lawsuit and will abide by terms in future practices outlined in the settlement.  The settlement provides no monetary damages, only injunctive relief, but doesn't bar Facebook users from seeking monetary damages. Plaintiffs' lawyers also have asked for $3.9 million in fees and costs. Campbell and Hurley will get $5,000 each as representatives of the class.

The possibility of a settlement was first reported in March after four rounds of mediation.  An article then said:

“The settlement achieves significant business practice changes, and benefits the settlement class now … without the inherent risks of continued litigation and without requiring Class Members to release any claims they may have for monetary relief,” according to a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement entered by the plaintiffs’ attorneys Wednesday.

“The Settlement was only reached after months of discovery and arm’s-length negotiations and enjoys the support of a neutral mediator who had an integral part in the settlement negotiations. Consequently, the Settlement satisfies the criteria for preliminary approval,” wrote Hank Bates, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

The proposed settlement only covers claims for declaratory, injunctive and non-monetary relief, however, meaning class members other than the plaintiffs — potentially millions of Facebook users located within the U.S. — may still be able to seek compensation of their own from Facebook, Courthouse News reported.
The final settlement must be approved by a judge in the federal court for the Northern District of California.

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